BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Zoo’s five-year-old elephant Samson continues to recover in his fight against elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) and Zoo staff sees daily improvement in his behavior and attitude.  “Samson’s activity level is back to normal most days now,” stated Mike McClure, general curator at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.  “We know from other elephant experts that he will have up and down days, as one might expect from any patient recovering from a potentially fatal disease. But we are very optimistic that he will recover fully in the long term.”

During the past two weeks Samson’s daily dose of medications were tapered off from three times daily to twice a day and then to once a day; he was given his final dose of medicine yesterday morning.    “While we have now stopped his daily medical treatment, we will continue to monitor him closely,” emphasized McClure. “Because EEHV is never gone from an elephant, we will be monitoring his health through a variety of means and will be as vigilant as ever as we continue to care for him and the rest of the herd.”

During the next few weeks Zoo visitors may see Samson in the back yard closer to the elephant barn as staff oversees his progress and gives him time to build up his strength fully. “We are extremely proud of Samson’s recovery so far, and we are moving in the right direction as he shows significant improvement each day,” concluded McClure.  “We hope to have him out in the main elephant yard in few weeks when the weather warms up and guests will have a chance to see him playing with a variety of new toys that we are currently installing. We cannot thank our members and guests enough for their support, calls, letters and emails during this time.  It has meant a lot to all of the staff here at the Zoo to know that people care about his health and well-being and are so supportive of our efforts to provide him the best possible care.”

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